Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!

Cursive brings raw emotional energy to Thalia Hall in Chicago

Cursive’s performance at Chicago’s Thalia Hall Thursday night proved the band has staying power. Touring in support of Vitriola, the August release features a cellist for the first time in over a decade, as well as original drummer Clint Schnase, who left the band in 2007.

Throw in Saddle Creek producer Mike Mogis, and you’ve basically got 2003’s The Ugly Organ. Not that that is a bad thing, as the album is known as one of their best, but Thursday’s show wasn’t a rehashing of the past. Though the performance spanned Cursive’s 20 plus year career, songs from Vitriola dominated the set, which blended seamlessly with crowd favorites from older albums. In the wake of emo revivals and music nostalgia, Cursive demonstrate a rare ability to stay relevant in the Trump era without isolating their old fanbase.

Campdogzz opened the show, whose breathy, raspy vocals were a stark contrast to the other opener, Meat Wave. Though they are both from Chicago, their styles represent different sides to the Chicago indie music scene. With the singer emoting a young Henry Rollins, Meat Wave’s raw punk energy was a contrast to Campdoggz soulful indie rock. While Campdoggz was entrancing musically, Meat Wave’s stage presence was lively and engaging, with singer/guitarist Chris Sutter throwing his beer and thanking his mom, as well as not one, but two insanely wild drummers.

Cursive took the stage, starting off with “free” from Vitriola, which led into “Big Bang”, a show staple since 2006’s Happy Hollow. While the focus of the show was Vitriola, the band dug deep into their back catalog to form a thoughtfully inspired set. Highlights of the evening included frontman Tim Kasher’s shirt, a baby blue ruffled button down, wrinkled with the top unbuttoned; the entire band thanking each other with their full names for no reason whatsoever, and the encore, when they combined “Dorothy at Forty” from Happy Hollow with “Under the Rainbow” from Vitriola, which went together flawlessly. Kasher’s emotionally charged howls combined with cellist Megan Selbe’s haunting cello and backup vocals created a horror movie like dissonance that worked all too well.

Combined with the band’s humorous banter and magnetic stage presence, Cursive’s live show proves that mixing nihilism with a little bit of playfulness is gut wrenchingly good.

Meatwave

Carissa Coughlin
Carissa Coughlin is a Chicago based photographer and writer, specializing in portraiture, fashion and live performance photography. See more of her work at carissacoughlinphotography.com.

Cursive brings raw emotional energy to Thalia Hall in Chicago

Cursive’s performance at Chicago’s Thalia Hall Thursday night proved the band has staying power. Touring in support of Vitriola, the August release features a cellist for the first time in over a decade, as well as original drummer Clint Schnase, who left the band in 2007.

Throw in Saddle Creek producer Mike Mogis, and you’ve basically got 2003’s The Ugly Organ. Not that that is a bad thing, as the album is known as one of their best, but Thursday’s show wasn’t a rehashing of the past. Though the performance spanned Cursive’s 20 plus year career, songs from Vitriola dominated the set, which blended seamlessly with crowd favorites from older albums. In the wake of emo revivals and music nostalgia, Cursive demonstrate a rare ability to stay relevant in the Trump era without isolating their old fanbase.

Campdogzz opened the show, whose breathy, raspy vocals were a stark contrast to the other opener, Meat Wave. Though they are both from Chicago, their styles represent different sides to the Chicago indie music scene. With the singer emoting a young Henry Rollins, Meat Wave’s raw punk energy was a contrast to Campdoggz soulful indie rock. While Campdoggz was entrancing musically, Meat Wave’s stage presence was lively and engaging, with singer/guitarist Chris Sutter throwing his beer and thanking his mom, as well as not one, but two insanely wild drummers.

Cursive took the stage, starting off with “free” from Vitriola, which led into “Big Bang”, a show staple since 2006’s Happy Hollow. While the focus of the show was Vitriola, the band dug deep into their back catalog to form a thoughtfully inspired set. Highlights of the evening included frontman Tim Kasher’s shirt, a baby blue ruffled button down, wrinkled with the top unbuttoned; the entire band thanking each other with their full names for no reason whatsoever, and the encore, when they combined “Dorothy at Forty” from Happy Hollow with “Under the Rainbow” from Vitriola, which went together flawlessly. Kasher’s emotionally charged howls combined with cellist Megan Selbe’s haunting cello and backup vocals created a horror movie like dissonance that worked all too well.

Combined with the band’s humorous banter and magnetic stage presence, Cursive’s live show proves that mixing nihilism with a little bit of playfulness is gut wrenchingly good.

Meatwave

Scroll to top